Friday, June 09, 2006

Recap volume 3

I think I shall post about my burgeoning garden, because it's the only thing I have pictures of, and I can't find any AA batteries in the house for our ancient and perpetually-low-on-batteries digital camera. Plus, it's my very favorite thing right now. I love flowers, I'm absolutely obsessed with them. I have aspired to be a successful flower & plant grower for years, but never had much luck. My first plant purchase was in college. Something palm-like and tropical. (Always the escapist - I lived in Ohio). I loved it so much that I watered it profusely every day, until it succumbed to root rot and I dropped it off at my Grandma's begging her to save it. No go. Chuck has always attributed my lack of plant skillz to the plague of a brown thumb, but truth be told, I'm all about the planning and the prepping and the planting, and pretty lax with the maintenance. This seems to be a common theme in my life...

Living in the desert for 8 years didn't really help my gardening aptitude, combined with the fact that no matter how many books you read, or how many sources you consult, there is no hard and fast rule for any flower or plant. There are so many variables, soil, climate, species of the type of plant, etc. It is largely trial and error, and more than a bit of luck. Since we moved back to Atlanta from Los Angeles, Lady Luck has been prevalent all around, but I am most pleased with my newfound success in the gardening department. I've turned over a new leaf. I think I might actually be the plant whisperer.

The only fortunate part of planning a wedding while renovating a house, is that I was able to incorporate decorations for the wedding that we could actually use at our house. In lieu of the gazillions of fresh flowers that I originally envisioned, the majority of our wedding decoration budget consisted of plants that were meant to end up in our yard.

Here's what we started with:

When we moved in at the beginning of April, we lucked upon an annual plant sale at the fantastic Oakhurst Community Garden, which is about 2 miles from our house. For less than $50, we picked up:

3 mature irises

a crinium lily

4 calendula plants

2 asters

and 3 mature day lilies

These were all plants that had been donated to benefit the garden, and came from people's yards who actually knew what they were doing. I was told they would be much hardier than the usual overpriced crop I bought at Home D or Lowes. And they were a bargain - between $3 & $5 a piece for mature plants. I'm loading up at next year's sale!

Due to the abundance of Georgia red clay, prepping the bed proved to be a little more work than anticipated. I did most of the planting with a spade, rather than a trowel. While chipping away, I encountered a mound of fire ants, a black widow, and this lovely relic:

That would be a crack pipe.

The irises bloomed almost right away. I thought I took pictures, but hell if I can find them. We added a border and some decorative red mulch, and that's how it stayed until last week, when I finally planted all of the plants and flowers from the wedding. I'm so excited because our front beds are an abundance of blooms!!!

However, it is late and I am turning into a pumpkin, so I'm going to have to continue this later...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dirty..... but funny.

I told Maggie that I would post a funny picture of some writing we found in the house. I was down in our very dark basement examining our behemoth of a broken furnace for signs of life, and found this charming little ditty written on the side of it

(warning: filth flarn filth)

I dearly hope that Wayne and Randy didn't take care of business in our basement!

Recap volume 2

OK y'all, I hear ya. I'm going to try to start posting smaller bits more frequently. I have a tendency to sit down and spend an hour+ assembling pictures and putting a post together, which is why I don't do it often. My time management skills leave a lot to be desired, a comment that accompanied every report card from K - 12. But I'm turning over a new leaf. No more slackin'! Right.

I do believe we last left you with a partially finished bathroom. We are still allllllmost done. Actually, the only thing we have to do is stain the molding around the closet. That, and fix the hole in the floor that gives you a clear view into the basement. I have a feeling that will be one of those things that is still on the "to do" list in 5 years. The hole came about when we found out that we had to move the tub drain after Chuck had laboriously laid the tile floor. He was none too happy, but it was either cut a hole and move the drain or sit on the toilet with your legs slung over the tub. As the more frequent sitter of the family, this was not an option.

We FINALLY did get hot water about 2 weeks into moving in. And a week later, we got our first water bill from the City of Atlanta for $3895.82. Sigh. We're still battling with them about this.

Chuck installed our clawfoot shower attachment, an oil rubbed bronze splurge from Home D.

We ran into a predicament during installation. The ceiling support that came with it was about 11" shy of making it all the way up to the ceiling. Of course they sell one that's 2' longer for the bargain price of $75.00. We had known this might be the case and had been deliberating about what to do for a while. Ultimately, we decided that instead of paying $6.81/inch of oil rubbed bronze metal, we could make something work. I found a dowel rod, Chuck got the hammer spray and voila. Ya can't even tell the difference.

Initially we thought we were going to have to reglaze our tub, and were going to try to do it ourselves, which could have been potentially disastrous. As a last ditch effort, Chuck took to it with a lethal combination of CLR & Barkeeper's friend, and we couldn't believe how great it worked! Like brand new.

I had my eye on register covers from Restoration Hardware. What didn't register when I decided on them is they cost upwards of $35.00. Yow. Chuck found this white one at Home D for under $10. A little hammer spray...

We decided to stain the cabinet after all of the hard stripping work, and I'm delighted with how it turned out. Very rustic.

And as a finishing touch, I sewed a sheer with women's sportswear fabric from Hancock Fabric. $2/yd. Ikea can't even beat that price for sheers.

As soon as we stain the closet molding, I will take pictures of the completed project, and post some before and afters. And as I'm thinking about it, we actually have done quite a bit that I haven't posted about, so i will get on it!!!